3030 Valley St., Carlsbad
Pastor: Jeff Enderle
Born: Council Bluffs, Iowa
Formation: Northwestern College, Watertown, Wisconsin; Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota; Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin
Ordained: 8 years
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor Jeff Enderle: It varies, but I would say I take 10 to 15 hours a week total for preparation. The one thing I’ve learned is that there aren’t a lot of shortcuts. I learned a little about finding your own style and voice. It’s more important to find what works for you rather than preaching like someone else.
SDR: How would you define your homiletic style?
PE: I’ve been told that my style is kind of conversational. I don’t know if that’s a style — but I try to make it sound like I’m talking to people rather than preaching at them.
SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you observe or hear about from your congregation?
PE: People just feel like they’re culturally outnumbered as Christians a lot of times. It’s not necessarily one specific thing. Of course, here in California, Prop 8 is a big issue for people to bring up in conversation, but it seems that the generally dominant culture is stacked against Christians, at least insofar as Christians take a very biblical view on how God wants us to live.
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PE: We seek to build up the believers that we have with God’s Word and the sacraments and we reach out with the gospel. I’ve only been here about a year, and one of the unique things about our congregation is its size. We’re not the huge megachurch, and we’re not the tiny house-church. We have an opportunity to be a family for people who are spiritually seeking and for people whose souls are hurting. We can give them God’s Word and that support that goes along with what scripture says. They know not just who their savior is but that they know there are other Christians who care about them and who want to help them in their struggles in living a Christian life.
SDR: What is it that concerns you as a member of the clergy?
PE: With the pressures people feel in our world, we can sometimes get distracted by that or disheartened. There’s a tendency to say that we’re out to change society or politics, but I think our biggest challenge is to get people interested in God’s Word, to keep their lives revolving around Christ, and to help them understand that hope we have as Christians and to live in that hope and not get distracted by the other things going on in the world. How can we keep growing spiritually through God’s Word, and how can we reach out with that Word? We’re not going to make a huge transformation of society without changing individual hearts — and that’s the challenge of clergy — to look at how they can make a difference, one-on-one, by sharing the gospel of Jesus with them.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PE: Jesus says that whoever believes and is baptized will be saved and those who don’t will be condemned. Everyone who knows him as their savior and believes he has died for them, paid for their sins, and taken away their guilt by his sacrifice on the cross, will share eternity with him in heaven.